When a logo on a piece of paper determines lives
By Ray Hanania
Israel keeps demanding that Palestinians recognize it as a “Jewish” State but says nothing about it’s own responsibilities for peace.
Palestinians have recognized “Israel’s right to exist,” it’s confiscation of land in 1948 and now has to do even more just to make the Israelis happy enough to sign a peace accord.
But can Israelis ever be happy? Or, do they prefer conflict because it gives them everything that they want, as long as they control the power imbalance?
In other example of Israel’s double-talk, Israel is now refusing to allow Palestinians in need of emergency medical care to leave Gaza to enter the West Bank for treatment.
The reason? The Palestinian paperwork has a new logo which reads “State of Palestine” rather than “Palestinian Authority” as it has been designated in the past.
Forget for a moment that we’re talking about life and possibly death situations here where civil patients need medical care and are trying to get from one Israeli managed prison, the Gaza Strip, to another, the West Bank.
I mean seriously. Does Israel have a problem with logos, or maybe the real problem is Israel doesn’t really want a Palestinian State of any kind?
The peace process officially kicked off in 1993 with a handshake between two “terrorists,” Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Palestinian President Yasir Arafat. Of course, each side doesn’t consider their own a “terrorist,” just the other.
But while Palestinian fanatics reacted with a wave of suicide bombings to block the peace process and prevent compromise advocated by Arafat and the majority of Palestinians, Israelis were no better.
Rabin was murdered in 1995 by an Israeli settler fanatic after extremist leaders like Ariel Sharon and Benjamin Netanyahu denounced the agreements as “evil.” After battling to undermine peace, Sharon then intentionally provoked Palestinians by declaring at the Dome of the Rock that Muslims and Christians would “never” have control over the sacred ground holy to everyone, except him.
Then, Israelis freely went to the elect polls and selected the most extremist leaders they possibly could to run their country, candidates for Prime Minister who openly declared they would reverse the Oslo Peace Accords and then expel Palestinians – only the Christian and Muslims ones in order to annex all of the West Bank.
They never really wanted Gaza. They just seemed to enjoy managing it as a prison, first with the Israeli soldiers guards inside the Gaza Strip and later from outside the Gaza Strip using Egyptian soldiers as stooges to do the dirty work on the Sinai border.
No. The skirmish over a few words “Palestine State” isn’t about procedures or processes, or when words can or can’t be used. The problem for Israel is that most Israelis and the leadership there today has a problem with recognizing the rights of Christians and Muslims to live in the Holy Land.
Declaring Israel a “Jewish” State is an outright insult to any Christian or Muslim not just Arab but in the world.
The Holy Land is holy not just to Jews but to Christians and Muslims, too. It doesn’t matter that most Christians in the West have abandoned their religion and care more for the commercialization of Christian holidays. They don’t celebrate the birth of Jesus in the West. They celebrate the Christmas Holiday sales.
Israelis recognize this. They know Christians don’t really care about the dismal situation of Christians living in the Holy Land under Israeli oppression. They know they can hate Christians as equally as they hate Muslims and American taxpayers will keep writing those $5 billion checks to help Israel reinforce its occupation and settlement machine.
I remember when I was young, watching Hollywood movies where “Arab terrorists” would hijack a plane and allow all the non-Jewish passengers to leave the plane safely while holding the Jewish passengers hostage.
It was reprehensible conduct, conduct cited by pro-Israel fanatics to reinforce the lies and stereotypes against the rights of Arabs so people like the mind-controlled and brainwashed Americans would never question the lies.
Yet somehow, the idea that Israel is preventing Christians and Muslims from crossing out of the Gaza Strip to go through Israel to get to a hospital in the Palestinian West Bank tells me that this is about more than just a few words printed on a piece of stationary.
We’re at the cusp of a very important peace process that Americans have invested so much to help make happen. Yet Israel is doing everything it can to stop it. Building more and more settlement housing on confiscated Christian and Muslim lands. And now imposing blockades to prevent people in need of medical care from getting to hospitals because of stationary.
It’s more than bureaucracy. It’s about the very substance of how Israel really views peace. And it shows once again that Israel’s government doesn’t support peace. Israel’s government doesn’t want to compromise. Israel’s government is the criminal enterprise that is engaged in stripping human beings of fundamental human rights and imposing a system of racial and religious superiority should determine how people live and are treated. Is that the kind of ugly State that many Israelis are demanding?
– Ray Hanania is an award winning columnist and managing editor of The Arab Daily News. Reach him at www.TheArabDailyNews.com.
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"I write about three topics, the Middle East, politics and life in general. I often take my life experiences and offer them in an entertaining way to readers, and I take on the toughest topics like the Israel-Palestine conflict and don't pull any punches about what I feel is fair. But, my priority is always about writing the good story."
Hanania covered Chicago Politics and Chicago City Hall from 1976 through 1992. Hanania began writing in 1975 when he published The Middle Eastern Voice newspaper in Chicago (1975-1977). He later published “The National Arab American Times” newspaper which was distributed through 12,500 Middle East food stores in 48 American States (2004-2007).
Hanania writes weekly columns on Middle East and American Arab issues for the Arab News in Saudi Arabia at www.ArabNews.com, and at www.TheArabDailyNews.com, www.TheDailyHookah.com and at SuburbanChicagoland.com. He has also published weekly columns in the Jerusalem Post newspaper, YNetNews.com, Newsday Newspaper in New York, the Orlando Sentinel Newspapers, and the Arlington Heights Daily Herald.
Palestinian, American Arab and Christian, Hanania’s parents originate from Jerusalem and Bethlehem.
Hanania is the recipient of four (4) Chicago Headline Club “Peter Lisagor Awards” for Column writing. In November 2006, he was named “Best Ethnic American Columnist” by the New American Media. In 2009, Hanania received the prestigious Sigma Delta Chi Award for Writing from the Society of Professional Journalists. He is the recipient of the MT Mehdi Courage in Journalism Award. He was honored for his writing skills with two (2) Chicago Stick-o-Type awards from the Chicago Newspaper Guild. In 1990, Hanania was nominated by the Chicago Sun-Times editors for a Pulitzer Prize for his four-part series on the Palestinian Intifada.
His writings have also been honored by two national Awards from ADC for his writing, and from the National Arab American Journalists Association.
The managing editor of Suburban Chicagoland Online News website www.SuburbanChicagoland.com, Hanania's columns also appear in the Southwest News Newspaper Group of 8 newspapers.
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